When Blaine Anderson was eight years old, he finally realized that something wasn't quite right with his family. Sure, they were nice enough but he never felt like he belonged with them. He always had a sneaking suspicion that he didn't really fit with them given that he didn't really look like them. Or it was more accurate to say that his father looked nothing like them. Blaine knew that he had his mother's nose and Cooper clearly had their mother's eyes. But neither of them had anything in common with their father. Anytime he tried to bring it to his mother's attention, she played it off or bought him a new puzzle or Lego set to take his mind off it. That, right there, was another thing. Unlike his parents who trusted the world around them, Blaine wanted to figure out how it worked. It took his mother six years to figure out that Blaine was naturally inquisitive and was prone to taking things apart so he could understand how they worked. That's when the Lego sets started popping up. He really wished that she wouldn't look so sad whenever he assembled one though.
When Blaine was ten years old, his brother let the secret slip. It was right after their maternal grandmother died. Blaine really didn't know her that well but Cooper did. He was completely distraught. His then seventeen year old brother was also completely wasted when he pulled Blaine to the side and told him that neither of them were the son of Stanley Anderson. Cooper's dad was some jerk that knocked their mom up and left while Blaine was the son of the man that rescued their pregnant, down and out mother… Anthony "Tony" Stark. Blaine brushed it off at the time partly because that was just ridiculous. Tony Stark was… well huge and famous and a billionaire. But it was mostly because immediately after that little confession, Cooper vomited in a plastic potted palm tree that he subsequently declared was his new best friend. He stubbornly refused to leave the newly named Stella for the rest of the night. So Blaine took Cooper's confession as the drunken ramblings of an already insane person and moved on.
When Blaine was just a few days away from turning thirteen years old, Tony Stark was kidnapped in Afghanistan and held hostage for three months. His name and face were all over the news for the majority of those three months. Blaine couldn't help but think back to Cooper's drunken confession (and Stella... yeah, he actually kind of missed Stella). But now that Tony's face was everywhere he went, Blaine couldn't help but notice the similarities between himself and Tony Stark. They both loved to build things. They had the same eyes and smile. The same inquisitive nature…. Blaine couldn't help but start to wonder if maybe he really was the son of Tony Stark. He didn't ask though because the man was missing, pretty much assumed to be dead. He didn't want his mother thinking that he was trying to lay claim to his wealth or anything like that. But then a miracle happened and Tony was rescued. Soon after his return, the media found something new to focus on and Blaine was left wondering if he was ever going to get an answer to his question. In a pure twist of fate, Blaine got his answer about two weeks after Tony was found when Tony Stark himself showed up at the Anderson household looking for Cooper and found Blaine instead.
Blaine remembered opening the door and staring up at the man in wonder. Once they were literally just inches apart, Blaine saw all the different things that he tried to brush off as just coincidence and knew he couldn't deny them anymore. This man really was his father…. And it appeared he was getting that memo too. Tony gaped at him for a brief moment before all but bellowing for Blaine's mother. She came rushing into the room, took one look at the recently discovered father and son and fainted. Cooper definitely got the melodramatics from their mother.
The facts were these: When Tony Stark was twenty one years old, after having added yet another college degree to his already impressive resume, he met a pretty young waitress named Annette. Annette with her lack of formal education and a baby on the way was the complete opposite of what his father would want in a potential daughter-in-law. Naturally, this meant that he had to fall head over heels in love with her. Tony helped raise Cooper and by all rights was the father that Cooper never had. He also helped Annette get the degrees she always wanted. But by the time they were twenty seven, they were half broken up. By the time they were twenty eight, Annette was bored with her life. She was bored of a life where her partner was more consumed with his gadgets, gizmos and robots than he was with her. She couldn't say that Tony was a bad father. He wasn't. But Annette wanted something more. So she left Tony, taking Cooper and the son that Tony wouldn't know anything about for thirteen years with her. Tony was still an active part of Cooper's life. Occasionally he would fly his former stepson back to New York or to Malibu for the weekend. But Blaine knew nothing about this. Until that afternoon when he was thirteen years old when he answered the door and learned that he was never really Blaine the son of Stanley Anderson. That he was actually Blaine the son of Tony Stark.
From that day on, Blaine and Tony formed a fast connection. Blaine didn't resent Tony at all for not being a part of his life before that moment. He actually appreciated the effort his father put into getting to know him. Especially since Blaine knew that it definitely conflicted with his Iron Man activities. Blaine was still a bit mind blown to know that his father was Iron Man but he was also proud. He read the horror stories in the tabloids. He knew what people thought about his father. But he also knew his father was a good man who tried the best he could. Blaine didn't take that for granted and he never wanted Tony to change. Well, that is until a month before the end of his junior year when aliens invaded New York and his loud insane amazing ridiculous genius of a father died saving the world.
This wasn't real. This could not be happening. Blaine fought the urge to rock back and forth as his eyes were riveted to the scene unfolding before them. It was insane. There were actual aliens and monsters fighting in the streets of New York. And his father was right in the middle of it. Pepper had called him the night before to give him a warning that his father was about to get involved in something very serious but he had no idea she meant this! This was… huge. This was nothing his father had ever faced before. A cold feeling settled in his stomach as he stood staring at the television with his boyfriend standing beside him and feeling smaller and younger than ever before. He felt alone even though he was in the middle of Rachel's living room surrounded by the rest of the glee club. They were supposed to be celebrating their win at Nationals but instead they were now watching in horrified fascination as actual superheroes were fighting back against aliens. Even knowing that his friends were with him, Blaine felt alone. Because he all he wanted in that moment was his father.
"Who are those guys?" Tina's voice sounded from somewhere around him. "I mean I know Iron Man but who are those other guys?"
"The blonde dude is an alien god named Thor. He's what all our ideas of Norse mythology are based on," Puck answered almost absently. Several eyes cut towards him. He shrugged with a knowing smirk on his lips. "I know things." Brittany nodded beside him as if in confirmation that Puck did in fact know things.
Blaine couldn't help but laugh at the brief moment of levity. Then he was back to freaking out internally because was that a missile on Iron Man's back? And why was he flying towards the giant hole in the sky that the aliens were coming from with a missile on his back?!
He felt his phone buzzing on his hip. He was tempted to ignore it. It was probably just Cooper. When the invasion started, Cooper insisted that he was coming home. He wasn't going to let Blaine be alone. He was grateful for the offer but he didn't need his brother giving him status updates every fifteen minutes on his commute home. But something told Blaine to at least check. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and felt his heart skip a few beats when he saw that it was his father. He was probably using JARVIS. Blaine picked up, clearing his throat to try to hide the evidence of tears. He moved away from the rest of the teens trying to get some semblance of privacy while also being able to keep an eye on the television.
"Hey, kiddo. Quick question, have you ever tried schwarma? And if so, what the hell is it and is it good?"
"Seriously?" Blaine laughed softly. "It's Middle Eastern and its basically roasted meat, vegetables and bread. It's actually really good. You should try it sometime. I mean you are in New York City. I'm pretty sure there are like a thousand good places right by the Tower. Pretty sure you passed at least one this morning."
"Yeah, I should try it one day," Tony mumbled. "So what are you up to?"
"Oh, you know, just hanging out at a friend's house. Watching some news. There's an alien invasion happening in New York, did you hear about that?"
"So watching your old man, huh? Like my team?"
"I thought you didn't play well with others."
"I usually don't. But I found some special ones," Tony chuckled. Blaine felt happier at the sound of his father's familiar laugh. He felt less small… less alone. "They're kind of adorably neurotic and fun. Even Captain Amazing over there."
"So Grandpa Howard was right? Captain America is actually real? And he's still alive?!"
"Yeah, the legends are true. Still don't see the appeal."
"That blonde guy fighting with you, he's not a real god… is he?"
"Thor is something, alright. He's a pretty good guy to say that it's his brother that's causing all of this," Tony laughed again. But this time it sounded more like a sob. Blaine chewed on his lip. The dread was returning full force. "I guess I can't persuade you to turn the television off, huh?"
"Nope. What are you doing?"
There was a pause. "What I have to do, kid. It's the only way. I wish there was another… I have to do this, Blaine."
Blaine winced as he bit down on his lip. That sinking feeling was back. "You're not coming back from this, are you?"
"I don't know…. I don't think so. I'm so sorry."
"For not being there for thirteen years."
"It's okay, Dad. You didn't know about me," Blaine replied, the words coming out choked as he tried to stifle the sobs that wanted to come out. "But you've been there for the last four and it's been great. Wish we could have had more time."
"Me too, Blaine. Me too." The connection started to crack as Iron Man approached the portal. "Take care of your brother for me. I know he can be a pain in your ass but he means well. He loves you in his own Cooper way."
"I know and I will."
"Take care of yourself too. Pepper knows what to do. Keep in touch with her, will you?"
"Yeah, of course I will." Blaine ignored the tears rolling down his face as he watched his father enter the portal. "I love you, Dad."
His phone beeped as the connection was lost. There were several cheers as Iron Man guided the missile that was apparently going to destroy Manhattan through the portal. Blaine couldn't tear his eyes away from the screen. There was a shockwave from deep within the portal that showed that the threat was over. Iron Man did it. He saved the world. He was a hero. Blaine let out a low moan even as he found the tears coming faster. He tried to take a breath but found that he couldn't breathe at all. Watching his father disappear into that portal felt like a hard punch to the solar plexus. He blindly sat down on a chair behind him. His eyes still glued to the television. They were celebrating and Blaine never hated a group of people more. Tony didn't need to do this to be a hero. Tony Stark was already a hero to Blaine. He didn't need to die to prove that.
"Uh, Blaine, are you okay?" Artie asked, hesitantly. Blaine tore his eyes away from the screen finally to realize that the entire glee club was staring at him. Several of them were giving him understanding looks while some of the others were visually dissecting him.
He cleared his throat, idly brushing away his own tears and let out a shaky breath. "Yeah, I'm good. I'm fine."
"Bullshit," Puck countered. Blaine stared blankly at him. Puck rolled his eyes. "Dude, you just watched your dad fly into an alien portal. That's grounds for not being okay."
"Okay, great now can we please address the iron plated elephant in the room, please?!" Kurt started. His eyes were wide and incredulous. Blaine couldn't help but read the accusation in the blue orbs either. "Your dad is Tony Stark? Your dad is Iron Man?!"
"Yes," Blaine replied, sadly. "He was Tony Stark. He was Iron Man."
"Why didn't you tell us? Why didn't you tell me?!"
Blaine felt his jaw drop. "Seriously?! You're seriously asking me that right now? I just watched my dad fly through a friggin alien portal with a giant nuclear missile strapped to his back. I just watched my dad die to save the world. And you're actually upset because I didn't tell you about him before now?!"
"Look I know you're upset but don't you see how this could be a little shocking for me too?!" Kurt countered. Rachel groaned before grabbing Kurt's arm and dragging him out of the room. Thankfully, the rest of the teens got the hint that Blaine needed a moment and started to scatter. Well, not all of them took that hint.
He wasn't aware he was shaking until he felt a gentle hand on his arm. He looked up to meet Puck's gaze. The older teen gave him a hint of a smile before tapping the phone still clutched tightly in Blaine's hand.
"So I'm pretty sure that your dad has to have some assistants or staff or something. There's got to be someone that's around that would know what's going on."
"Yeah, give them a call," Sam encouraged from Puck's other side.
"What's the point? He's gone," Blaine mumbled, not bothering to look to the screen again. It was just the news team sharing their feelings about what was happening. As if Blaine cared. His dad was dead. He didn't care about anything right now. He slumped lower in his seat.
"Hogwarts, seriously? Like everyone knows how Tony Stark became Iron Man," Santana chimed in, draping herself along the back of the sofa with a feline grace. The sarcasm he would swear was born into her voice was gone. She looked... warm and friendly for the first time since he met her. While he was stuck staring at this new Brittany settled down in the space beside Blaine. "I think you most likely know the story better than us. I think it's safe to say that if he could survive that, he could survive a lot. Don't give up just yet."
Blaine took a deep steadying breath and nodded. He was Blaine Anthony Stark (or at least he was in his own mind). He wasn't built to give in. He was built to keep fighting. And he was going to do just that. He gave the small group a grateful smile before dialing Happy's number. When he didn't answer, Blaine dialed Pepper, feeling the frustration growing once again as she also failed to pick up. He kept going for the next twenty minutes as he reached out to almost every staff member even remotely associated with Stark Tower. Some of them answered. Some of them said that they honestly had no idea what was happening as they hightailed it out of the city as soon as the first alien landed. But most of them were just confused, scared and looking to him for answers. He hung up on those pretty quickly. He was about to try another number when his phone rang. He didn't recognize the number.
"Hey, kid. Miss me?"
"Dad?!" Blaine yelled, standing up abruptly. He ignored Santana's indignant yelp as his sudden movement caused her to topple over. But he didn't miss the stream of muttered curses and Puck and Sam's muffled giggles that abruptly turned into yelps of pain. "Dad, where are you?"
"At the Tower," Tony answered.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Just a little sore. And partially deaf," his voice sounding slightly muffled as he turned his mouth away from the phone to yell at someone near him. Blaine smiled at the barely audible response punctuated with a few laughs. "So how are you? You okay?"
"I'm fine. I didn't just die trying to save the world!"
"No, but you had to watch." Blaine swallowed.
"That was…. That was hard. But I'm okay now that I know you're alive."
"Good. But to tell you the truth, I could be better. You see as I was going towards what I assumed was my certain doom, I kept thinking there were only two things I really needed in that moment. And now that I'm not dead I really need those two things. "
"Let me guess, Pepper and schwarma?"
"Who'd you get your sense of humor from, kid? Okay, let me rephrase that, smart ass, there were only three things that I really needed in that moment. And because I'm certain you got your brains from your mother, let's set the record straight. You and your brother are at the top of that list." Blaine swallowed the lump in his throat. "So I know school is letting out in a few weeks. You think your mom would mind me spending some time with you? Maybe Cooper too."
"Who cares if she minds?" Blaine blurted out. "I mean, she's not around anyway. She and Step-Stan are backpacking through Europe or something like that. I'm not exactly sure where they are this time."
"Remind me to have words with your mother about her parenting techniques. They seem to be a bit… nonexistent. But anyway, I'll take that as a go for me to visit. I might be bringing some guests. I think we might have to lay low for awhile. We kind of destroyed Manhattan a little." He paused, listening to something on his end. "Fine, the Capsicle wants to say that I should be honest and that we destroyed Manhattan a lot! But I still blame Point Break and The Hulk for most of that by the way. Anyway, so yeah, I might be bringing some friends. That cool with you, kid?"
"Yeah, that's cool," Blaine answered, quickly. His smile faltered. "You're really going to come to Lima, Ohio to hang out with me?"
"Yes, I'm really going to go to Lima, Ohio to spend some quality time with my sons. And I'm apparently definitely bringing the rest of my team with me. I think we could all use a little downtime. Plus they're kind of fun."
Blaine snickered softly. His dad could never just come out and say that he cared. It was always a roundabout type of thing. Clearly something else happened with the rest of what the press was now calling the Avengers and his father was worried about one or all of them. Blaine smiled. His father was making friends. It was almost adorable.
"So I'll see you in a couple of days?"
"Yeah, I'll be there. I have to go take care of some stuff, including the bratty alien god shaped dent in my floor and then I'll be there with you."
Blaine smiled. "Awesome. See you soon." He heard voices on the other side of the line teasing his father before the connection was cut. But unlike before, Blaine didn't feel like a part of him died. Because his father was alive and he was going to be here in a matter of days to spend some time with his son… well, sons. Because no doubt Cooper was also going to stick around. Oh, well. He sat down again with a bright smile and feeling better than he a few minutes ago because everything was right in his world again.
"So he's alright?" Puck asked, flopping down beside him. Blaine nodded. "See, told you."
"He's Iron Man," Sam rolled his eyes, as if this was the most obvious thing in the world. Blaine snorted. "Also, did you say Captain America earlier? Does that mean that Captain America is real? That guy was the actual Captain America?!"
"Yes, that was the real deal," Blaine replied. "Kind of shocked about that one too. Dad always thought Grandpa Howard was full of it. Guess he was wrong." Sam nodded slowly and Blaine could practically hear his inner fan girl flailing out of happiness. He would definitely make a note to find a way to bring Sam around the team. He's sure his dad wouldn't mind. Actually knowing his father and the ongoing war that he had with Howard Stark's memory, Tony would probably actively encourage anyone or anything that would get a rise out of the famous Captain America.
"So Iron Man," Puck smiled, raising an eyebrow. Blaine opened his mouth but Puck shook his head. "Just teasing you, dude. I get it. I wouldn't run around telling everyone Tony Stark was my dad either. Being his kid doesn't seem like the safest position in the world. So I get why you didn't tell anyone. I'm just glad he's alive and stuff."
Blaine nodded, grateful for Puck's easy acceptance and kind words. "You're really calm about all of this. As we can see my own boyfriend didn't take the news that well."
"Good thing I'm not your boyfriend," Puck winked with a sly grin. "But like I said, I did actually know about that Thor guy. my cousin actually met him. The chick she was doing an internship with is like soul mates with Thor or something. I didn't really believe her at first. Guess I should've. Apparently rolling with superheroes runs in our family. Our great grandmother, Nana Peggy, used to tell us stories about Steve Rogers, the man who would become Captain America. Darcy always thought they had a thing. I just thought Nana Peggy was senile. But now I'm starting to think she might of have been right."
"Seriously, did everyone know that Captain America was really real but me?" Sam whined. Santana patted him on the head before diverting all of their attention to the door where Blaine could just make out Kurt's head peeking around the corner. Oh, he so didn't feel like dealing with that right now. He was still feeling a lot of emotions at the moment. Getting into a screaming match with his sometimes completely oblivious boyfriend was definitely not something he wanted to get into right now. But judging from the impatient look on his face, getting into was exactly what was about to happen.
"Guess I should go talk to him, huh?"
"You could," Santana drawled. "Or we could get the hell out of here and do something decidedly less lame than party with the same people we see every day."
Santana shrugged looking over at her best friend. "Britt?"
"Bowling!" Brittany replied with another nod. Sam and Puck exchanged a quick glance before nodding in unison. Brittany squealed throwing her arms around both boys. "Blaine?"
"I guess… but how are we supposed to get past them? They're kind of blocking the path to the stairs. You know, the only way out of here," Blaine said, glancing again at the others that were still hovering just outside the door despite Rachel trying to direct them all away from the room.
"Easy, bro. This room actually has two entrances," Puck answered absently. "If we go out that door over there, it takes you down and into this weird ass corridor that actually opens up a little bit down the street."
"And you know this how?"
Puck rolled his eyes. "I've known Rachel since I was born. Whenever I couldn't crash at Santana's house, I used to sneak in here and sleepover on the nights my dad would get completely wasted. It was easier to be here than there. But then he moved out and…. Yeah." Puck trailed off once Santana put a hand on his shoulder. His eyes widened as if realizing that he said too much. He raked a hand through his hair even while Santana squeezed his shoulder lightly before retracting her hand. "So we bowling or what?"
"Yeah, bowling! Bowling is awesome. I love bowling. Bowling is….." Puck reached and slapped his hand over Sam's mouth.
"Shut up, Sammy."
Blaine laughed before following Puck's lead out the back door he had never noticed before that moment. Sure enough it did lead out into some corridor that probably had some awesomely interesting story to it (and not just the one where Puck and Rachel were adorable little friends). He grinned as the last few rays of sunlight hit his skin when they finally emerged on the street. As he strolled down the street following the bantering Santana and Puck, the giggly Brittany and an utterly starstruck Sam, Blaine couldn't help but feel settled for the first time since he arrived at McKinley. Though they rarely hung out together in school or out, Blaine couldn't deny that he felt attached to these people. Maybe it was just the fact that they readily accepted that his father was Tony Stark and didn't seem to judge him. But whatever it was, he knew it felt good to be out here, right now with them.
So yeah, he and Kurt were in a weird place. He felt his phone buzzing in his pocket and knew for a fact that it was most likely a pissed off Kurt. But he ignored it. Because his father was still alive and Blaine was about to go bowling with people that were not Kurt and his immediate friends. People that actually listened to him and helped him when he needed support the most. Sometimes you had to take the wins and forget about the rest of the crap. And he was all about forgetting the crap.
"So Blaine, Puck, whoever else knew the truth, tell me everything about Captain America. And I mean like every everything about him!"
Yeah, definite win.